I lost touch with books for about a decade because of life but thankfully I am able to return to this beautiful world. Eclectic mix from YA to erotica. I blame fanfic.
This book is set on the very edge between magical and realism which for the most part works in its favour. It has all the elements of fantasy that you expect but the narration is autobiographical in tone so that the core is about a person's journey from child to adult. There again there's an element of fantastical because he doesn't just become a man but a hero - the stuff legends are literally made of.
Kvothe is arrogant to be sure but it's understandable, though not condoning it. His upbringing has shaped him and it's refreshing to see a 'charmed' protagonist grapple with that consequence. I love that he's not perfect yet still a hero like all those other cocky bravehearts who you wonder how they might have changed the world if they turned to the dark side.
The world is eloquently detailed but nothing like a set piece so that it almost wraps around Kvothe like another layer of his adornments for environment is as much part of us as our natures. The writing is meticulous and paces pretty much as fast or slow as Rothfuss wants it to be and I was more than willing to go along with it just because I trusted him. In other words I didn't skip or jump or even peek ahead. This is life story and so does actually follow a pattern of cause and effect. To understand the later parts you have to go through the earlier stuff. It's like when you ff to the end but don't get that emotional punch because you skipped all the mundane, the struggle, the anxiety leading up to that point - there's just nothing left for catharsis.
Rothfuss has written something of a masterpiece within this genre in my opinion; it's style and story is unique but brewed from the same source of many legends I've loved before.